Anita Rani’s sheer dress is the outfit of a star on the rise

One of the big winners at Sunday night’s Bafta TV Awards was presenter Anita Rani, even though she didn’t take home a trophy.

Instead, Rani triumphed on the red carpet thanks to a daring see-through dress that got everyone talking – and speculating about whether the popular Rani is on her way to becoming the next BBC star.

After all, as she stated Good household magazine this month: “I’m at the beginning of my chapter two and there’s so much more I want to do.”

Rani, 46, is already a fixture on the broadcaster’s calendar as host of The women’s hour on Radio Four and BBC One’s rural affairs programme Country file. But this was Rani in a very different guise: there was absolutely no mud or boots involved.

She strutted her stuff on the Baftas red carpet in a daring, pearl-encrusted floor-length dress by Australian designer Rebecca Vallance. The sheer material showed off Rani’s slim figure, with her modesty protected by a nude bodysuit underneath, and she teamed it with Sole Bliss platform heels, asymmetrical earrings and glamorous hair extensions.

Rani’s stylist, Krishan Parmar, shared The Telegraph that they chose the dress because it radiates confidence but also vulnerability. It shows that “Anita really feels comfortable in her own skin.”

Anita showed off the striking dress at the Baftas

Anita showed off the striking dress at the Baftas – Shane Anthony Sinclair/BAFTA

Caroline Leaper, That of the Telegraaf senior fashion editor explains: “It’s an excellent example of someone using fashion as a means to make a big personal statement. The dress is so far removed from the everyday wardrobe that people will have seen it on screen – this is glamorous and fun, more like what we would see on Rita Ora at the Met Gala. She is clearly confident and wants us all to know that.”

Rani said Good cleaning magazine about embracing her independence after her 2023 divorce from Bhupinder Rehal, her husband of 14 years. She has moved back into her old flat in London and is turning it into what a friend described as ‘a Parisian dream home’.

That means “beautiful cream curtains and white floorboards,” Rani revealed. “My bedroom is old pink and I have turned my guest room into a dressing room. Just talking about it makes me happy! It’s my little sanctuary.”

The presenter admitted that she was in ‘unknown territory’. She continued: “I’m a single, Asian woman with no children, and you know what? I love it! I have a clean slate in front of me and that feels very good.”

Rani also sounds excited by the experience of writing her debut novel. Baby does a runner is similarly about a British-Asian woman finding out who she is. Rani’s protagonist, Baby, faces pressure from her mother and aunts to get married and have children, but when she discovers secret love letters between her grandfather and a mysterious woman, she travels to India to find out why her family left and how their generations have left. trauma affects her.

Rani explained that in retrospect she is angry because she grew up in a Punjabi culture where men and women were “treated very differently, and I could see the inequality all around me. But when you have something to fight against, it really gives you strength. It is like a fire within that drives you.”

Rani definitely sounds and looks like a woman on a mission. Since her marriage breakdown, and while promoting her book, she has become much more visible, with candid interviews and stylish photo shoots.

Anita RaniAnita Rani

As she enters a new period in her life, Rani embraces bolder looks and takes on new projects – Andrew Crowley

She has been praised for her courage and openness in talking about how she suffered a miscarriage. “Vulnerability used to scare me to death, but it was liberating to share my personal story and see the response,” she said last year.

She added that she has become much better at self-care and asking how she wants to live her life, rather than “trying to please everyone.”

That builds on the wisdom of her best-selling 2022 memoir The right kind of girlin which Rani recalls learning to navigate between her two cultures growing up in 1980s Yorkshire.

On the one hand, she faced racist comments, but she also had a hard time in her traditional home, in a family that believed in arranged marriages. Her parents ran a clothing factory and wanted their daughter to study law. She was a rebellious teenager, and sometimes a deeply unhappy one: she even damaged herself.

But she is now proud to be a visible role model for women of colour, and someone who has become part of several British institutions. As well as presenting on Country file And The women’s hourshe competed further Come strictly dance in 2015, reaching the semi-finals.

Rani eventually embraced the sequins and skimpy outfits of Strictly, although she joked that the first outfit she tried involved a ‘side ass on show’ – which was ‘really exposing and terrifying’.

Anita Rani appears on the Strictly Come Dancing live show in BlackpoolAnita Rani appears on the Strictly Come Dancing live show in Blackpool

Anita Rani found her Strictly Come Dancing wardrobe ‘terrifying’ but successfully reached the semi-finals – Guy Levy/BBC/PA

Since then, she has learned to use style strategically, such as wearing a sari to the platinum anniversary for the BBC. “For years I felt ashamed,” she said, explaining that she felt like she had to tone down her Asian side, “because no one wants to deal with that.” But now I think it’s a gift to be able to move between two cultures. With the anniversary I thought: ‘When else am I going to get a moment like this?’”

Rani also made waves when she did an interview for Channel 4’s Great Britain on the beach while wearing a swimming costume. “I worried about my body all my life and never put on bikinis in my 20s and 30s – I had the dysmorphia of thinking I didn’t look good enough,” she recalls. “Now I’m thinking, ‘Sod it.'”

Will that confidence translate into a bright new chapter in Rani’s career? She certainly has big plans. “I’d like to go out with Woman’s Hour,” she said Good cleaning, before tellingly adding, “and I’d like to host my own talk show.” I want to turn my book into a movie or TV show, and I really want to continue changing the landscape for the next generation of Asian women.”

She was thrilled when she was asked to present ITV’s game show Fastest finger first in 2022, a spin-off from Who wants to be a millionaire?, because, she said, there are stereotypes about Asian women being “square and smart.” When asked if she had any ambitions to present the news, “I actively said, ‘No, my passion is music and entertainment,'” Rani explains.

Anita RaniAnita Rani

Anita Rani dressed in her more famous Countryfile garb: Pete Dadds

She recently made a celebrity appearance in Michael Macintyre’s The wheel and a guest co-host Pointlessand she hosted Netflix’s spin-off web series Under the crown.

BBC cameras picked her up several times during Sunday’s Baftas, suggesting the corporation understands her potential as a rising star. Will she be the next queen of Saturday night TV?

It is certainly possible. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are currently a dedicated presenting duo Strictbut as the series celebrates its 20th anniversary tomorrow [15th May]Could this ultimately inspire them to move on to pastures new?

You wouldn’t blame Rani for having her eye on the top glitterball prize, although she did host the show’s live tour in 2017 (in the role of Mel Giedroyc), and she wasn’t necessarily a natural at the role.

She is an excellent journalist but should let go more and build her comic talent into light entertainment hosting. And she would have to think outside the box if she wants to avoid the fate of Lily Allen and Davina McCall, whose attempts at chat shows were quickly consigned to the TV dustbin.

However, she has proven to be a very safe pair of hands for high-profile occasions such as royal events. She would also be suitable for a program like The pianoshould Winkleman ever tire of it, especially if she can channel the warmth and emotional candor she’s recently shown in her writing and personal interviews.

Rani has certainly paid her dues and is now well positioned to both represent the established BBC and demonstrate her embrace of more progressive values ​​– whether through her work, her striking fashion, or both.

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